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This is from a contributor who is a somewhat new student. She gives her story on starting out with Tantra and meditation. 

Starting Tantra by Andreea

When we think “tantra”, most people automatically think of sexuality, tantric sex and the pleasures of the flesh solely.

However, as I’ve discovered recently, tantra was never intended to be just a manual of sex positions, and it is not, actually. It is, though, a path that opens you up to the possibility to attain higher levels of consciousness through the spiritual practice of sexuality.

While most religious traditions or spiritual paths believe that only when you let go of your sexuality and repress it, it’s when you’ll reach enlightenment, tantra teaches you exactly the opposite.

What tantra taught me after when I started learning about it was that there’s no real separation between the body and souls, on the contrary, it’s the perfect union between these two aspects that will lead to enlightenment.

I, myself agree that sexuality plays a huge part in our human/spiritual being, and so I had to look more into the spiritual path of tantra.

What I’ve first learnt is that, apart from most religious paths, tantra doesn’t regard life as a problematic situation we need to escape from to reach heaven, eternity or enlightenment.

In fact, life energy and consciousness have a perfect bound and need not be separated. The yin and the yang, the masculine and the feminine aspects of oneself, the knowing and the experience.

It’s true, that life can be hectic and very confusing at times, but this happens only when life energy becomes separated from consciousness. In other words when we our live unconsciously, not knowing who we are and how life works.

And when you live a conscious life and the two merge with each other, it’s then when you’ll get a taste of what heaven on earth feels like.

These two aspects reside in each and everyone of us, and are both equally important and indispensable for life, although traditional religions see life as the problem and consciousness as the escape from our problems. The real problem is within this vision upon things, which causes us so much pain, feelings of fear, shame, guilt and most of the blockages in our life.

Tantra taught me that neither one is flawed nor bad in any ways, they are just complementary and sine qua non with one another.

In Hinduism, Shiva and his lover, Shakti, represent the two aspects that reside in each individual that we have the mission to fine tune within ourselves. Hence, tantra is not necessarily the act of connection with another person through sexual intercourse, but the act of reconnecting with your divine true self. Only after you’ve reached this level of connection with the divine god or goddess within yourself, it’s when you can truly connect with another human being.

For this, I’ve took up yoga and a 10 minute morning meditation ritual that I practice every day, but most importantly, I made the decision to love myself deeply and madly for my divine self. And starting tantra happened to be just the right spiritual path for this mission.